Saturday, June 22, 2013

India floods: Death toll in Uttarakhand 'passes 500'

BBC: The death toll from flooding and landslides following heavy monsoon rains in the northern Indian state of Uttarakhand has passed 500. The state's Chief Minister, Vijay Bahuguna, said 556 bodies had been seen floating or buried in "slush", and that the army was working to recover them.

The charity Action Aid says 5,000 people are missing in the area. Many of those stranded in the mountainous region are Hindu pilgrims visiting local shrines.

The worst affected area is around the holy town of Kedarnath. The Kedarnath Temple, high up in the Garhwal Himalaya, is a site of pilgrimage for Hindus

The Indian Army is leading rescue efforts. The authorities say troops have yet to reach some remote mountain areas. Indian Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde said more than 33,000 pilgrims had been rescued in the past few days, but at least 50,000 people were still stranded...

A pre-flood view of Kedarnath, shot by Samadolfo, Wikimedia Commons, under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license

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